Column: I work for a living, and that includes holidays

I may have mentioned this before.

I get a lot of email. More than 100 each day, and that doesn’t count my personal non-work emails. Toss in another 75 or so on those accounts and you can imagine the amount of garbage I wade through in a 24-hour period.

But all of that email is not useless. Some provide me with column topics.

This week, I received mail from the the folks who do PR for Shoe Carnival, a retail and online store that specializes in, well, family shoeware.

This PR person was touting the fact that Shoe Carnival employees will hot have to work this year on Thanksgiving. Shoe Carnival — I believe the nearest one is in Mount Vernon — is not going to open that day.

That’s nice.

The email included a quote from Shoe Carnival president and CEO Cliff Sifford: “It is with great pleasure that we show our gratitude and appreciation to all Shoe Carnival employees with Thanksgiving Day off for them to spend time with family and friends.”

Big deal?

Not to me.

I’m tired of those who bash retailers for having employees work on holidays.

Those doing the bashing are hypocrites, because they are extremely selective in who they are hammering.

For more than 40 years, I’ve worked in restaurants and at newspapers.

Guess what?

I have worked a lot of Thanksgivings and Christmas holidays and Independence Days and Easters and New Years Eves and New Years Days.

Employees in may sectors of business have worked on the holidays for years.

Maybe I’m jealous of those who get holidays off. I like to think I’m more enlightened.

Families have been arranging holiday meals and family get-togethers around work schedules decades. Really, it’s not that big of an issue.

Farmers have been doing it for centuries.

Police officers and fire fighters work on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

So do those who take care of patients and prepare food and clean rooms at hospitals and nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Where is the outcry for chefs and newspaper reporters and police officers and firefighters and nurses and ER doctors?

I don’t have a problem with business owners in the business of making money.

They provide a service for people who enjoy shopping and saving a buck on Thanksgiving.

If you don’t want to shop on Thanksgiving, stay at home. If enough people stay at home, retailers won’t feel the need to open for business.

The least-interesting college courses I sat through were Economics 100, 200 or 400. But that’s where I learned about the law of Supply and Demand.

If there is a demand, someone will provide a supply.

That’s what business owners and service providers do. They supply a product or a service to satisfy a demand.

Working harder and longer and smarter than the next guy has always been the key to success in America.

Well, it used to be.

And then someone decided that having to work for a living was no longer a integral part of the American Dream, nor should those attributes be necessary to get ahead in the world.

Today’s government is supposed to assure everyone has the same quality of life, whether they choose to work or not.

That’s where this started. Someone determined that working on Thanksgiving is cruel and inhuman punishment thrust upon the the tired masses by business owners disguised as grinches.

So count me out when the annual bashing season commences.

I’ll be working on Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year’s Day and Easter and Independence Day along with millions of other Americans.

Thankfully, I’ve earned enough seniority that I can do that work at home.

But it took me 40 years of hard work to gain that advantage.

Anyone remember Arthur Poister?

David C. Pickering, an Associate Professor of Music at Kansas State University — who does have ties to Galion — is working on an autobiography of former Galionite Arthur Poister, who was the most famous organ teacher in the United States during the 20th Century.

“I came to Galion in 2010 and came across some very interesting information in the Galion Inquirer that was scrapbooked at the Historical Society,” Pickering stated in an email. “The problem was that there were no page numbers or volume numbers associated with select articles that I found. These articles are from the 1920s and 1930s. Do you have a repository of newspapers from that time period and possible page and volume numbers for articles? I have the exact date of articles, but that is it.”

Unfortunately, I can’t help him.

As far as I know, we don’t have records that go back nearly 100 years.

But others in the Galion area might be able to help. Here are the specific dates of newspapers he is seeking. They all included information on Arthur Poister: Jan. 6, 1914; July 26, 1917; Feb. 28, 1923; Aug. 6, 1926; June 13,1932; March 29, 1943; April 16, 1943; Oct. 27, 1952.

Pickering is in the final stages of editing his book and is seeking more detailed information. If you are able to help, you may email David C. Pickering at He also has a website:
Reader seeking information on former Galionite Arthur Poister


Russ Kent

Galion Inquirer



Russ Kent is editor of the Galion Inquirer. Email him at with comments or story ideas.